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Brooklyn Today December 22: Call to Rename Williamsburg Bridge After Saxophonist Sonny Rollins Gains Steam

December 22, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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***The Brooklyn Daily Eagle office will be closed on Monday for Christmas. The next Brooklyn Today newsletter will be sent on Tuesday, Dec. 26.***
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THE LEDE: Happy Friday, Brooklyn! President Trump frees a convicted money launderer from Brooklyn, the Williamsburg Bridge could be getting a new name, and a wounded dog with its mouth taped was found in an East New York garbage bag. Plus, NYC is close to a record low in homicides, Mayor de Blasio’s Iowa visit sparks presidential speculation, and the Republican Party is fighting a civil war. Finally, we travel to Manchester, England, Confederate statues are taken down in Memphis, and we share how the new tax plan will benefit President Trump’s family. Have a very happy holidays!
IMPRINT: Actress Kate Bosworth poses in fur on the most recent cover ofEvening Standard Magazine.

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The Rundown

~CALL TO RENAME WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE AFTER SAXOPHONIST SONNY ROLLINS GAINS STEAM: The Williamsburg Bridge will undergo many changes in the coming years as part of the L-train shutdown, but none perhaps more dramatic than this. Thousands of jazz enthusiasts have joined Councilmember Stephen Levin in calling for the overpass to be renamedafter renowned jazz musician Sonny Rollins. The Williamsburg Bridge, which just celebrated its 114th birthday on Tuesday, was a special place for Rollins. From the summer of 1959 to the fall of 1961, Rollins would practice on the overpass for up to 16 hours a day. “One day I was on Delancey Street, and I walked up the steps to the Williamsburg Bridge and came to this big expanse,” Rollins wrote for The New York Times. “Nobody was there, and it was beautiful. I went to the bridge to practice just about every day for two years.” He added, “Playing against the sky really does improve your volume, and your wind capacity. I could have just stayed up there forever.” In October, Levin introduced legislation calling on the city and state to officially rename the overpass. At press time, a petition to rename the bridge had 4,251 signatures from more than 61 countries and all 50 states. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~WOUNDED DOG WITH TAPED MOUTH FOUND IN EAST NEW YORK GARBAGE BAG: A dog was found in a trash bag in East New York on Tuesday night with its mouth tied shut. A passerby noticed sounds and movement coming from the waste receptacle and contacted NYPD. Police officers arrived promptly and cut the container open to find the wounded dog. “My immediate reaction was disgust, and I was repulsed that a human being could do that to a dog,” Medical Director of Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group Dr. Brett Levitzke told us. “I was astonished at the depth of cruelty.” He added, “On admission to the hospital, he could barely move. He couldn’t lift his head. It was only after 24 hours of intensive treatment that he was able to start eating and drinking on his own.” The 10 to 12-year-old shepherd-mix male canine has been named Saint Vincent by its rescuers. Dr. Levitzke believes that Saint Vincent will be just fine. Police officers are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact NYPD or ASPCA. “There is somebody out there who is going to recognize this beautiful dog’s face, and we can only hope that they call, make an anonymous call to the police or call some sort of media outlet,” Dr. Levitzke said. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~TRUMP FREES CONVICTED BROOKLYN MONEY LAUNDERER FOR FIRST COMMUTATION: Brooklyn’s Lubavitch community took to the streets in celebration after President Donald Trump granted his first commutation, freeing a Brooklyn man convicted of money laundering. Sholom Rubashkinreturned to New York on Wednesday after he had been previously sentenced to 27 years in prison for submitting fake invoices from the headquarters of his Iowa kosher meat plant. “What we’re seeing here tonight, I can’t believe,” Rubashkin said. “They wanted to bury the guy for who knows how many years, and then he walks out.” The president got bipartisan support for the move as many saw the sentence as too harsh. (via News 12 Brooklyn)
~ONCE US MURDER CAPITAL, NYC CLOSE TO RECORD LOW IN HOMICIDES: Even after two terror attacks and a driver’s deadly rampage through Times Square, NYC is on track to smash its modern-era low for homicides in a year. Through Dec. 17, the city of 8.5 million people, once America’s murder capital, had recorded 278 killings. That puts it on pace to end this year with killings down 14 percent from last year, and well below the 333 in 2014, which was the year with the fewest homicides since the city began keeping accurate crime statistics in 1963. Those numbers mean a person’s odds of getting killed by homicide in tightly packed, diverse New York City this year were about the same as they were last year in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. “You can feel the change. More people are out walking the streets at night, they’re out talking to their neighbors, they’re not rushing their kids home, you know, with their heads down,” said Rashaud Carmichael, 36, a construction worker and father of three who lives in the area. “I’ve lived here all my life. And man, I can tell you, it’s a different world now.” (AP via Brooklyn Eagle)
~MAYOR’S IOWA VISIT SPREADS PRESIDENTIAL SPECULATION:Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio constantly denying he will run for president in 2020, his recent trip to the politically-key state of Iowa spread speculation. The state is known for its importance in national elections, so when the mayor spoke to Progress Iowa about his successes in various programs back in New York, eyebrows were raised. While he has received criticism about the trip from local unions like the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which had officers protest the event, social media has taken a particular liking to a video of him chewing gum and walking at the same time. (via TimeOut)


Staff Picks:   

LONG READ: “How Tough Is It to Change a Culture of Harassment? AskWomen at Ford” (via NYT)
ANOTHER LONG READ: The Republican Party is fighting a civil war. Here’s what it’s like on the battlefield(via Esquire)
FICTION: Read the short story, “Revere,” about a cancer patient seeing her long-lost lover after many years. (via Lenny)
TRAVEL: “36 Hours in Manchester, England” (via NYT)


NATIONAL BULLETIN: Here’s how the new tax plan will benefit PresidentTrump’s family…Researchers sue the EPA…And Confederate statues aretaken down in Memphis. (via USA Today, WaPo and NYT)
FOREIGN FLASH: Pro-independence parties are victorious in the Catalan election…A MacArthur foundation grant gives Syria its own version of “Sesame Street“…And Vice President Mike Pence visits Afghanistan(via Euronews, NYT and USA Today)

Here are the best Christmas cards from Royal Families across the globe. (via Standard)



10:00AM – 1:00PM — Brooklyn Block Lab at Brooklyn Children’s Museum.Details.
11:00AM — Shape Up NYC: Healing Hatha Yoga at Audobon Center at the Boathouse. Details.
11:00AM – 7:00PM — Elf the Musical at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Details.
3:00PM – 6:00PM — Witness to War at The Old Stone House. Details.
5:30PM — Tot Shabbat at Bay Ridge Jewish Center. Details.
6:00PM – 8:00PM — Pregame Your Brain: Saturnalia at Caveat. Details.
7:00PM — Exploring the 2017 Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Extravaganza at 7009 13th AvenueDetails.
8:00PM — The Slackers at The Bell House. Details.
8:00PM — La Cantata dei Pastori (The Shepherd’s Cantata) at Theater for the New City. Details.
9:00PM — Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience at The Brooklyn Bowl.Details.
11:45PM — Silent Night, Deadly Night at Nitehawk Cinema. Details.  
 EAGLE SPORTS: It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Unless, of course, you’re the Brooklyn Nets. Our borough’s NBA franchise continued its disturbing trend of listless starts Wednesday night at Barclays Center, falling into an early hole before falling just short at the end of a 104-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings in front of 13,179 paying customers on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. “Giving up 36 points in the first quarter, they have good players on the other side and you can’t get in a hole like that,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson lamented after his team dropped its fourth straight season-high tying game. “It is a disappointment in our defense and our defensive mentality to start the game.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)


Happy birthday to Steve Carlton, Ted Cruz, Hector Elizondo, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Garvey, Ernest Moniz, Jerry Pinkney, Diane Sawyer and Jan Stephenson!

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